What exactly is cold laser therapy?
Cold laser therapy offers patients a pain free, non invasive treatment that after a few sessions has a positive effect on pain relief and healing of different conditions. Cold laser therapy is the application of laser light over injuries or lesions to stimulating healing within the tissues.When we think of lasers the first thing that jumps into our mind are the surgical lasers that are uses to ablate skin and cut through tissues. Laser therapy involves lasers that have the opposite effect. They penetrate deep into the tissues and stimulate healing. There is no perception of heat by the patient and the treatment is pain free. Another term you may have heard in reference to laser therapy is low level laser therapy (or LLLT). Laser therapy is not new. It has been used in Europe for over 20 years and there are hundreds are articles that have been written that show the benefits of laser therapy for many different conditions.
What is Laser therapy used for?
Laser therapy has been shown to relive pain, resolve inflammation and increase the quality and speed of tissue repair. It has also been shown to stimulate the immune system, resolve infection and improve the function of damaged nerve tissue.
How does Laser Therapy work?
How is it possible that one modality can have a positive effect on so many different tissues? The answer is that it works on the cellular level. The photons, which are the packets of light energy from the laser, penetrate through the skin and into the cells. The cells are then able to convert this light energy to chemical energy that is able to promote healing and pain relief. The light energy is absorbed in the cytochromes (receptors in the cell) As a result of this; the rate of ATP production from the cell is increased. This brings the rate of cell metabolism from a depressed rate, as is the case in damaged tissue, to a normal level. As a result of this increased cell metabolism, many different biological effects may occur. One is that cell growth is stimulated among all different tissues; tendon, bone, skin, nerve and muscle can all be affected. Laser light has been shown to regenerate nerve cells and stimulate nerve function. There has been shown to be an increase in prostaglandins, enzymes and cellular products after laser therapy. Angiogenesis can occur as well as a reduction of fibrous tissue formation, which is beneficial to healing of chronic wounds. The end result of all of these biological effects is reduction of pain, resolution of inflammation and increased tissue repair.